A few weeks ago Air Berlin created a special bonus miles promotion for the duration of the UEFA Euro 2016. It contained that you´ll collect triple miles on all domestic German and European routes. As flights to the Canary Islands always acquire a nice mileage ratio, we decided to fly to Tenerife for a weekend with a rather odd routing.
We started our journey at 2 a.m. and made our way to Cologne/Bonn airport. Our first flight was scheduled at 4.45 a.m., destination: Palma de Mallorca.
The flight was quite smooth and after 1,5 hours flight time the island came into view.
We descended along the mountain chain and passed some of the famous small villages before intercepting the ILS for runway 24L.
After landing we proceeded to one of the lounges and waited for our next flight. We met some other frequent fliers there, who flew the exact same routing just like us. While we had a look at Flightradar, we noticed that the aircraft for our flight to Zurich was inbound with a huge delay due to bad weather conditions at Basel, its origin airport.
When we saw that it had landed, we made our way to the gate and boarding commenced shortly after. Flight AB3513 was operated by Belair´s HB-IOP, an 6,5 years old Airbus A320.
With 140 passengers on board we departed with a delay of about 1 hour and set course for Switzerland.
The crew as well as the service were very nice. We passed Marseille, a part of the French Alps and the well-known Matterhorn before we started our approach into the airport of Zurich.
While we were on descend just north of Luzern, I noticed another aircraft, which was on descent to Zurich as well.
A few moments later the captain said that the passengers on the left hand side should have a look out of the window and mentioned the Swiss 777, which was inbound from Geneva as LX2807.
We followed the Swiss, touched down on runway 14 a few minutes later and continued taxing to our gate position.
We spent our connecting time in Zurich´s Aspire Lounge, before boarding for our next flight to Tenerife, our final destination that day, started on time. Soon we were sitting on seats 2 D & F and were ready for departure.
Due to slot restrictions we had to wait for about 45 minutes in the aircraft, before we were allowed to start our engines.
Shortly after being airborne, we made a left banking which offered us a nice view of the city, Lake Zurich as well as a part of the airport.
Service commenced after we had reached our cruising altitude of 35.000 ft. As an Airberlin / topbonus Platinum member, we got offered a complimentary Sansibar Sylt gourmet meal.
Passing the city of Lisbon, Portugal´s capital, before overflying parts of the Atlantic Ocean.
Two hours later we were already on descent towards the airport of Tenerife South, previously known as Reina Sofia Airport.
After leaving the terminal, we picked up our rental car and drove to Playa de las Americas in order to enjoy some sunshine and the ocean.
As our departure back to Germany was quite early the next morning, we decided to book a hotel near the airport. We chose the “Santa Barbara Gold and Ocean Club by Diamond Resorts”, which was a very good decision. A very nice building with a cool pool; we had an apartment for this one night which was really huge for just two guests.
In the evening we went to a nice little restaurant near the hotel and enjoyed some tasty food there while we watched the UEFA Euro 2016 Round of 16-game Croatia vs. Portugal.
Short stop at a gas station the next morning while we were on our way to the airport; I used the time to take some pictures of our VW.
After returning the car and checking in, we went to the lounge called “Sala Montana Roja”. It was sufficient for a nice breakfast.
Our 737 was inbound from Cologne via Faro. It had to do a refueling stop in Portugal, as Cologne´s main runways were closed during the night and so it had to use the way shorter runway 14R, which only has a length of 1863m.
Boarding started around 30 minutes later and buses drove us to this 15 years old beauty. It had its first flight in June 2001!
We left our parking position a few minutes later and taxied to runway 08 for an eastward departure.
The view to famous Mount Teide was sadly blocked by some haze while we left the largest of Spain´s Canary Islands behind.
The flight itself was again really smooth with great service; sadly the weather wasn´t really good and it was overcast most of the time.
After around 3,5 hours flight time we started our descent towards the airport of Cologne.
At 3.20 p.m. we touched down and a nice and crazy weekend trip came to an end!